South African Business Visa

south african business visaForeign nationals who wish to set up or purchase a business in South Africa, or enter into a partnership, must apply for a South African business visa to do so. The visa is also based on the fact that the applicant will also live in South Africa.

What is allowed under a business visa?

As mentioned above, a foreign national who holds a South African business visa can do business and live in South Africa. If it is a brand-new business venture, consider the following elements:

What are the main criteria of a South African business visa?

The main requirement of a South African business visa is that the foreign applicant invest at least ZAR5 million into the business. This should be in the form of a capital equivalent or cash investment.

Foreign nationals who cannot meet this financial requirement can apply for a waiver. This is however only possible for certain business categories. Even then, the waiver is at the discretion of the Department of Home Affairs.

The other alternative is to apply for a financially independent visa. This visa extends permanent residency to the applicants, meaning they are free to start a business in South Africa.


  • The foreign national must undertake that 60% of their staff will be South African citizens or permanent residents.
  • The business must be set up in a recognised South African company structure.
  • The application must be accompanied by a comprehensive business plan.

Temporary residency

Temporary residency on a South African business visa is normally granted for up to 3 years.

Permanent residency

Once temporary residency has been received, the foreign national can make an application for permanent residency.

Find out if you qualify for a South African business visa

The first step towards starting a business venture in South Africa, is seeing if you qualify for a business visa. To do so immediately, complete our quick online assessment now. One of our consultants will contact you shortly thereafter to discuss your eligibility.

You could also start the process by giving us a call. Our Cape Town office is available on +27 (0) 21 424 2460 and our Johannesburg office can be reached at +27 (0) 11 234 4275. Alternatively, request a free call back and one of our consultants will contact you within 24 hours.

Why should Intergate be your South African immigration partner?

Since our inception in 2005, Intergate’s team of dedicated immigration consultants have thousands of foreigners make South Africa their home. Not only dedicated, our consultants are qualified and registered too.

Intergate also takes pride in being the only South African immigration company with ISO 9001 certification. This accolade means our quality management systems were tested by an independent auditor and found to be both appropriate and effective. There is no-one better to guide you through immigration to South Africa.